Friday, May 30, 2008

Wisconsin House Will Rise from the Ashes

Fraternity plans to rebuild Langdon Street house after fire
By: Abby Sears

After a late-night fire destroyed the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house during finals week in May, the brothers are now looking forward to a new house in the future.

After a late-night fire destroyed the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house during finals week in May, the brothers are now looking forward to a new house in the future.
“We absolutely will rebuild,” Vice President of the fraternity’s alumni board Ryan Sugden said of the property at 237 Langdon St.

Although all 28 residents of the house managed to escape the blaze unharmed, the house sustained approximately $750,000 in damage as a result of the fire, according to the Madison Fire Department.

The scorched house will be torn down during the summer and a new house will be rebuilt in a minimum of two years, according to Sugden. He said the house was insured, so those finances combined with alumni contributions and fraternity fund-raising efforts will pay for the new house.

In the meantime, Sugden said brothers have the opportunity to live in a “fraternity-like” setting on Langdon Street for the 2008-’09 school year. During the second year of the new house’s construction, the fraternity aims to rent out an entire building with separate apartments for members to live in.

Sugden does not expect the fire to damper recruitment efforts this fall for Sigma Phi Epsilon, which is the largest fraternity on campus with over 120 members. He said new members will have the opportunity to live in a brand new house when the rebuild is complete and participate in typical brotherhood activities until then.

“The guys don’t change,” Sugden said. “We actually have come closer as a group.”